Monday, May 21, 2012

Quick Review

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So not the kind of anthology I would ever pick up anymore, but that's because I'm not so young, not because this one isn't a masterpiece. What do I owe Donald Keene? Japanese literature in translation. This book, and so many other by Donald Keene, and the authors to whom he introduced me, are now so much a part of my reading life I'd almost forgot just how many good things I first read here.

Japanese movies and Mishima led me to this book, and this book led me to Tales of Genji of Murasaki Shikibu, and The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, to the great poets. This book led me to Keene's Modern Japanese Literature, and that led to Kawabata and Endo and Oe and on and on, so many truly amazing and life-changing reading experiences.

Keene's work should be celebrated, his name revered by anyone who reads Japanese literature in English. No one has done more. I will always be grateful.

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